Ambusley laments ‘bad’ player welfare
At 38 years old, Dwayne Ambusley has years of experience playing in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), but the Montego Bay United (MoBay) player-coach says poor player welfare has made many of those experiences hard to enjoy.The midfielder, who recently told The Gleaner, that he wants to see a new union set up to negotiate for better conditions on behalf of the RSPL's players, said many do not understand just how difficult he and his colleagues have it playing in the local top division.
"Being at MoBay, where we have won the league before, some months you don't even get paid," Ambusley told STAR Sports. "That don't happen in the regular work environment. When you are having a bad patch, and we are in the state that we are in, people try to be critical of us. But they don't know, when you play a game, or leading up to the game, what you have to undergo to get yourself ready. They don't even know if you eat. That's why MoBay have this whole heap a players that leave, and you can't blame them, because a player has to feed his family."
Ambusley says the league is far from being professional. Players cannot solely focus on training and playing as many have to work other jobs to try to adequately provide for their families. This is why Ambusley wants league organisers to rethink the fixtures. He believes that if players cannot be paid a higher salary, then they should at least be given the opportunity to work a proper 40-hour work week to earn a decent wage.
"When you have Sunday-Wednesday games, that's professional," he said. "I think they should look at the structure of the league. There should be games in the week. It shouldn't just be on a Sunday. You could have games on a Friday night, on a Saturday night, where the venue permits. It would be easier if people could do their nine-to-five (jobs) and then you know you have games on the weekend. But when you play games Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday, Wednesday, (it makes no sense). The clubs who are in a better position to feed their players, and pay their players properly are the ones who benefit most. The ones who can't, are the ones who suffer, and we just have to suffer."